If you stopped me on the street and asked me what I find compelling about Adobe Creative Suite 5, here’s what I’d say:
64-bit is a big deal for After Effects users. It may well be the end of those show-stopping “could not create image buffer” errors which have for years been the embarrassment of After Effects artists trying to do high-end work.
Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill. Finally we have actual witchcraft in an Adobe application.
Roto Brush. While the Photoshop kids are trying to content-aware remove bikinis from celebrity photos, the After Effects crowd gets to play with the Roto Brush. Does it work as well as we see in the demos? Occasionally, yes. But even when it needs a little more massaging—such as when the foreground object is complex, and the background has similar colors and textures—the experience of using Roto Brush is not only speedier than traditional rotoscoping, it’s also considerably less maddening. Think of Roto Brush as making the work of roto faster and easier, not eliminating the work, and you’ll be in love.
Premiere Pro. It’s easy to get excited by the performance features in Premiere Pro CS5. The Mercury playback engine, native editing of HDSLR footage, etc. But the real news with Premiere Pro CS5 is that the term “Pro” is, at long last, appropriate. Premiere is now good. Real good.
Amazon has CS5 Production Premium available for pre-order now, with a ship date of June 30—but the actual ship date is much sooner. I’ve created a page on the ProLost store for the various CS5 upgrade options. Every time you buy from the ProLost store, I plant a tree made of puppies in front of the Unicorn factory in your name.